ALES Research Centres & Facilities

The Faculty of ALES has some of the most comprehensive agricultural and environmental research infrastructure and teaching facilities in the world.

In addition to its many laboratories, growth chambers and greenhouses on the University of Alberta's north campus, ALES has the following research and teaching facilities:


Agri-Food Discovery Place
Pre-pilot facility in which world-class innovative research, training and technology transfer is conducted in food safety, value-added processing and value-added bio-refining of food and industrial products.

Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities
The Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities assists rural communities in meeting diverse challenges through fostering constructive dialogue, promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and developing partnerships.

Breton Plots
Located near Breton, 100 km southwest of Edmonton, the Breton Plots provide a model of how diverse cropping practices affect typical Gray Luvisolic soils. They are currently used to assess the interactions between the global environment, crop productivity and soil quality.

Crop and Land Resource Unit
The 'Crop Unit' supports research and teaching in plant biosystems and sustainable management, diversifying and enhancing the value of Alberta crops, integrated crop and pest management, environmental biosafety of transgenic crops, and bioproducts and nutraceuticals. 

Dairy Research and Technology Centre
The DRTC houses about 150 Holstein cows in a 350-foot barn with 146 tie stalls. It supports research focused on optimizing production efficiency and sustainability, enhancing the nutritional quality of milk and value-added processing, and enriching and extracting milk components that are beneficial to human health. The facility is also used to teach dairy nutrition, digestive physiology, production management and milk dairy processing. Furthermore, it is involved in technology transfer with stakeholders.

Poultry Research Centre
The facility supports research and learning in bioeconomic modelling, metabolism and reproduction, nutrition, management and physiology, embryology, and value-added meat product development.

Rangeland Research Institute - Mattheis Ranch
A 12,000-acre ranch located near Duchess, in southeast AB, it supports research and teaching in rangeland ecology and management, including grassland ecology, wildlife management, grazing systems and cow-calf management, carbon sequestration and storage, impacts of climate change on rangelands, the establishment, production harvesting and storage of forages, land reclamation and water resources management. 

Roy Berg Kinsella Research Station
A 12,000-acre beef cattle breeding facility located 150 km southeast of Edmonton. It houses 650 cattle that support bovine genomic research. The ranch is also home to precision ranching research, which studies the complexities of interactions between animals and the environment.

St. Albert Research Station
An 800-acre facility located 20 minutes north of Edmonton, the St. Albert Research Station supports a wide range of crop research.

Swine Research Technology Centre (SRTC)
The SRTC supports research and teaching in nutrition and metabolism, feeds and feedstuff utilization, reproduction and breeding herd management, functional genomics, metabolomics and value-added product development.


Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN)
Based out of the University of Alberta, the Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN) is an initiative working to support the provincial bioindustry by facilitating multi-disciplinary industry/academic collaborations structured towards achieving commercializable outcomes. The Network includes researchers, industry partners, government and other bioindustrial stakeholders.

Crossley Forest
The Crossley Forest is a 65-hectare area established in 1951 to study the management of lodgepole pine, and is located near Strachan, Alberta in the Rocky Mountain District.

The EMEND Project, located in the boreal mixedwood forest 90 km northwest of Peace River, Alberta, is a large-scale variable retention harvest experiment designed to test the effects of residual forest structure on ecosystem integrity and forest regeneration at the forest stand level.

George Lake
The George Lake research site, located one hour northwest of Edmonton is used for studying forest and aquatic ecosystems. There are many ponds around the site, which is surrounded by an aspen-dominated forest.

Rose Creek Education Forest
Located in the Rocky Clearwater forest area, about 130 km southwest of Edmonton, the Rose Creek Education Forest spans 19,000 hectares and is dominated by coniferous species.

Woodbend Forest
A 160-acre block located near Devon, about 15 minutes southwest of Edmonton, the Woodbend Forest consists of low sandy ridges covered by aspen, white spruce, jack pine and is interspersed by bogs and marshes.



Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility (PCERF)
PCERF supports research on innovative protective clothing materials, test protocols and equipment.